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Vine Swing

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The usual way of transportation of a Nature Hero: grab a conveniently placed, always available vine on a tree, and swing on it to the next one. Very common in Jungle Opera settings or in Jungle Japes levels of video games.

In fiction, these vines will usually be portrayed as flexible as ropes. In Real Life, those that are strong enough to carry the weight of a human are much stiffer. It must also be noted that vines clinging to trees are securely attached to the tree, you can't just easily pull one free of the trunk and start swinging. In addition, the vine itself is usually attached to the same tree you're standing on, so you aren't going to be able to easily swing from one tree to another.

Often used as a Stock Shout-Out to the Trope Codifier, Tarzan; the character swinging on the vine often makes the ape-man's unique yell.

Compare Building Swing, which is this done in a more man-made environment, usually with ropes, and Chandelier Swing, the indoors, swashbuckling counterpart. Contrast Vine Tentacles, where the vines are controlled or operate autonomously for other applications

When you do it, you need to Watch Out for That Tree!.


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  • In one commercial for MetLife, Snoopy saves a man in a jungle from a tiger attack by swinging in on some vines and whipping the tiger into submission, complete with a Tarzan yell.
    Voiceover: Are you lost in a financial jungle? What you need... is someone who knows the ropes.

    Anime and Manga 
  • Parodied in One Piece. In the Skypiea Arc, Luffy at one point grabs a vine to prevent himself from falling. While swinging on the vine he starts completely randomly to do the Tarzan yell. Immediately after witnessing that Usopp suddenly remembers his new "technique", called "Usopp AAaaaAAAaaaAA!" It's just him using a grappling device built in his belt to do a Vine Swing... while doing the Tarzan yell, of course.
    • In the same arc, Zoro also uses the Tarzan yell when doing a vine swing over a lake of deadly cloud sharks. Nami hesitantly swings without the yell, and nearly collides with a massive tree until Robin stops her. Zoro promptly scolds her that it would have worked with the yell.
  • Ouran High School Host Club: Honey does this in Episode 7 of the anime, right before taking out a squad of heavily-armed guards who were threatening Mori and Haruhi due to an unfortunate mix-up.
  • Ash Ketchum does this at the beginning of the Pokémon: The Series episode "Pikachu's Goodbye", but he winds up running into a tree.
  • In episode 25b of Tamagotchi, Flowertchi swings into the school classroom on a vine when Lovelitchi picks her a flower that's supposed to represent the wilderness but seems to have turned her into a wild savage instead.

    Asian Animation 
  • In episode 14 of Happy Heroes, Doctor H. swings on a vine in Mr. Lightbulb's garden, only to hit a wall.
  • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: Master Paopao does a vine swing near the end of Joys of Seasons episode 24 as part of a surprise paintball attack on the goats.

    Comic Books 
  • Rulah, Jungle Goddess: Unlike Sheena, Rulah prefers to travel through the trees to get from point A to point B. She swings from vines all the time.

    Comic Strips 
  • Parodied in several The Far Side comics, often with Tarzan being the swinger: losing his keys and wallet, missing his morning "commuter vine" as it swings by his treehouse, mistaking a snake for a vine, and so forth. Another features an ape swinging clear across Africa, having caught the ultimate vine.
  • Nero: Done a lot in this comic strip and always accompanied by a Tarzan yell.

    Film — Animated 
  • Torzonborz in the sequel of Cat City travels around in the jungle like this, as he's pretty much a Funny Animal version of Tarzan.
  • The lemurs in Disney's Dinosaur swing from vines as a way to choose mates: when one male lemur and one female lemur end up on the same vine, they climb to the top and "get busy". Poor Zini always ends up unmatched.
  • In The Emperor's New Groove, Pacha does this to save Kuzco from a pack of jaguars, complete with a Tarzan-esque yell. He misses him the first time, but he grabs him as he swings backward.
  • In The Lion King, Timon and Pumbaa make a makeshift swing out of jungle vines during the "Hakuna Matata" song sequence. Then during "Can You Feel The Love Tonight", Simba grabs a vine in his mouth and swings into the water, to the confusion of Nala.
  • In the opening scene of Madagascar, Marty does this during his daydream. Then he and Alex actually do it when they "go wild" on the island of Madagascar.
    • A little later, Melman swings on a vine to save Marty from a pack of fossa.
  • In Shrek, Robin Hood swings on a vine to "rescue" Princess Fiona from Shrek.
  • In Zootopia, Nick and Judy swing on a vine in the Rainforest District to escape from a predator that has turned feral.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • In The Adventures of Robin Hood Robin swings on a vine from a tree on one side of a forest path to a boulder on the other while taunting Guy of Gisborne after he and his Merry Men have defeated the group the corrupt knight was leading through the greenwood.
  • The Court Jester: Jean's first scene has her swing into the Black Fox's camp on a vine.
  • George of the Jungle: Just like in the cartoon the film is based on, this is George's preferred way of transportation. Him smashing into trees is a Running Gag here as well.
  • Indiana Jones:
  • In The Jungle Book (2016), Mowgli does an engineered version of this (with a cut vine he's turned into a grappling hook) at the climax to escape the dead tree he trapped Shere Khan on.
  • King Kong (2005): Bruce Baxter does this during his Big Damn Heroes in the insect pit while firing a tommy gun, no less. Given that he's an actor, he was likely imitating this trope from one of his movies.
  • In Liane, Jungle Goddess, Liane grabs onto a vine and swings over a lake before she lets go to drop into the lake and go swimming.
  • In Octopussy, James Bond (Roger Moore) infamously does this while being hunted like an animal by the Big Bad and his henchman and mooks through a jungle in India, complete with the Tarzan yell.
  • Pee-wee's Big Adventure - while eluding the security squad in the movie studio lot, Pee-Wee vine swings over a large pond, on his bike, doing a high-pitched little Tarzan yell.
  • Predator. Dutch covers himself in mud (to block the title opponent's infrared vision) and hides in a tree. The Predator approaches and climbs by him, causing him to use a vine to swing to another tree.
  • Snatched (2017): While Emily and Linda are traveling through the jungle with the survivalist Roger, they come across a chasm hundreds of feet deep. Roger says they'll have to swing across one by one, and offers to go first. The vine breaks, sending him plummeting to his death.
  • Star Wars:
    • In The Empire Strikes Back, swinging from a vine is one of the physical tasks Luke performs during his Jedi training on Dagobah.
    • Chewbacca does it in Return of the Jedi on Endor when attacking an AT-ST walker. He even makes a sound similar to Tarzan's yell.
    • Wookies also do it in Revenge of the Sith during the battle of Kashyyyk.
  • Tarzan in every single film version, be it live-action or animated. He's the Trope Codifier.
  • Robin Hood swings in on a vine and lands in front of Lurkalot as he is making his way through Sherwood Forest in Up the Chastity Belt.

  • Mentioned as a means of transport in the book How to Be a Superhero, where it is said not to be suited for urban superheroes, as the closest thing cities have to vines is power lines.
  • Surprisingly, Averted in the original Tarzan books. Tarzan would brachiate from tree branch to tree branch, but he never swung on vines.
  • Xandri Corelel: During a jungle battle in Tone of Voice, Xandri notices an enemy soldier under her tree with a grenade. She swings down on a vine so she can kick him over and throw his grenade away.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Arrow. In "City of Heroes", John Diggle and Felicity Smoak go to the island of Lian Yu to bring Oliver Queen out of his 10-Minute Retirement. Felicity steps on a Japanese land mine left over from World War 2, but Oliver turns up to rescue Felicity by swooping her up in a Vine Swing so they're swung out of the blast radius.
  • During "Roar", the cast of Glee get to do this (even Artie in his wheelchair). It is a Shout-Out to the original music video by Katy Perry.
  • Relic Hunter: In "Diamond in the Rough", Sydney has just retrieved a pair of daggers when rival relic hunter Kurt Reiner swings in on a vine and knocks her down in an attempt to steal them.
  • Xena: Warrior Princess: Joxer does this in "Fins, Femmes and Gems", swinging in on a vine to abduct Gabrielle, after he becomes obsessed with the story of "Atis, the Ape Man" as a result of Aphrodite's magical perfume.

  • One of the many methods of reaching Oleta Adams in "Get Here":
    Climb a tree and swing rope to rope...
  • Referenced in OneRepublic's "Counting Stars":
    I see this life like a swinging vine/Swing my heart across the line.
  • Katy Perry as a Jungle Princess in her music video Roar.
  • Veruca Salt's video "Volcano Girls" features the band members doing lots of swinging on large elastic harnesses.
  • "Tarzan" by Johnny "Guitar" Watson:
    Oh, let me swing down on this grapevine here

  • The party in the Cool Kids Table game Here We Gooooo! needs to succeed at one to get across a pit. Dario goes first and critically fails.

  • BIONICLE: Lewa and the Le-Matoran do this in Le-Wahi on the island of Mata Nui, though Lewa mostly stops after gaining the ability to glide on his own.
    • In Tales Of The Masks, Tahu of all people resorts to this when Lewa is cornered by the Nuvahk-Kal and it's the only way to get to him in time; Tahu insists they never speak of it again.

    Video Games 
  • Aspire: Ina's Tale: Ina can swing ropes back and forth so she can get from one spot to another.
  • In Balthazar's Dream, Balthazar can swing on vines on the forest level, and rope on the indoor level.
  • Blue's Journey for the Neo Geo has leafy vines hanging around for this purpose.
  • In the iOs Game Buddy & Me, being set in a child's dream, the forest has tire swings hanging from the trees to do this with. In addition, your flying companion sometimes clings to a tree and positions his tail so you can grab it and swing across a gap.
  • In Cabbage Patch Kids: Adventures In The Park, Anna Lee occasionally runs into vines in Babyland Park that she must use to swing across ponds and water holes to get to the other side.
  • Donkey Kong often does this in the games where he's the protagonist, fitting the Jungle Japes setting.
  • Featured in Kingdom Hearts in the Tarzan world. There's even a Mini-Game revolving around this.
  • The forest stage of Lord of Gun caps with you battling an extremely agile mercenary boss, who swings all over the area via vines while taking potshots at you.
  • Lost Home: The playable snake character can grab onto vines with its mouth, allowing it to swing over gaps and obstacles and climb onto higher areas. Since the main characters cannot normally jump like most platform game protagonists, this is an integral part of the game's platforming mechanics.
  • Myst III: Exile does this twice in the Age of Edanna, where everything is natural. Here, the vine is blue, shaped like a trapeze bar, and is even named "Swing Vine".
  • Pitfall Harry in Pitfall! occasionally runs into vines to swing over ponds and bottomless pits that open up in the ground. The sound effects replicate the Tarzan yell whenever he does this.
  • In Rastan, swinging on conveniently placed vines or ropes helps the eponymous Barbarian Hero cross pits of whatever. It's not quite clear what they're hanging from in some outdoor areas.
  • In Sonic Adventure 2, Sonic and Shadow can swing across vines in the Green Forest and White Jungle levels, respectively.
  • In some levels of Spelunky, the player can climb and jump between vines, but the vines don't actually move.
  • In Spongebob Squarepants Battle For Bikini Bottom, one of the levels features Spongebob doing this.
  • Doing nothing but this is the first level of an old arcade game named Jungle King.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • New Super Mario Bros.: Some levels in the jungle-themed World 4 feature vines Mario and Luigi can use to swing in order to reach a far spot. This is important due to said levels being partially flooded with lethal Grimy Water.
    • Mario Party 3:
      • In the minigame Picking Panic, two teams compete to see who can deposit more cherries into their baskets, and use swinging ropes hanging from trees to this end. In each team, a player grabs a cherry offered by an Ukiki and passes it to their partner to put it into the basket. The size of each cherry determines its weight, and thus how far it'll move after being thrown. The team that deposits the most cherries wins; but if both teams end up depositing the same amount, the minigame ends in a draw.
      • The minigame Vine With Me pits two dueling characters in a race in the jungle where they have to move across moving swings to reach the goal (a tree's robust branch). The vines come in different lengths and speeds, so timing is key to avoid falling down (though that outcome wouldn't disqualify a character anyway, they just waste time getting back to the last vine they were hanging on). The first character to reach the goal wins.
  • Treasures Of The Aegean: There are plenty of vines for Marie to swing on.
  • Uncharted: Drake's Fortune and Golden Abyss are set in the tropics and Nathan Drake occasionally has to use vines to cross large gaps.

  • In Darths & Droids, Ben as Chewbacca attempts to do this to get on top of an Imperial Walker (just like he did in Return of the Jedi), but Sally's suggestion turns it into a snake swing instead because that is much cooler.

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 


Video Example(s):


Bond Goes Tarzan

Bond infamously does this while being pursued by Kamal Khan and his hunting party through the jungle in India, complete with the Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan yell.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / VineSwing

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